April 6, 2013

Professional observation from Phil Hess

Falls Creek tour during the early part of the storm.  Put skis on at alder line.  Snowfall moderate to heavy, increasing with elevation.  Above 2500′, 8+” by early afternoon.  Winds moderate from the SW, enough to transport the new snow.  Poor visibility but some steep north and west facing aspects had already experienced loose snow avalanches consisting of storm snow, which is bonding poorly to the firm, old surface snow.  A north facing couloir had already slid, substantially large, by the time I got up there.  Also witnessed a natural D3 avalanche of a northwest facing couloir.  Debris piles were 6+’ deep.  No evidence of slab formation yet (i.e. cracking or collapsing), but did not venture to ridge-tops.  Upon exit, my skin track had been covered by several loose snow releases coming from the slopes above the creek that had ran up to several hundred vertical feet.

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